Barnaby Joyce wins the Communications Coup Wizard Award for 2015

Johnny Depp might up picked up the Black Stump awards: Dill of the Year Award but I am giving Barnaby Joyce our genius “weird sweaty big-gutted man“ ( Johnny’s words not mine) the Communications Coup Wizard Award for 2015 for how he handled the Boo and Pistol smuggling case.

Barnaby Joyce Wizard.

Such is the NSW Department of Primary Industries focus on biosecurity risks and concern it had fallen under the radar for most Australians they partnered with The Archibull Prize in 2015 to roll out a Biosecurity Competition in NSW Schools participating in the program

And just to show you how right they were to be concerned that “biosecurity” was a foreign concept for both adults and young people between 12 and 18 the following is an extract from the schools ‘entry and exit surveys evaluation

When they began The Archibull Prize only 38% of high school students (i.e. 123 of 327) had heard about biosecurity. Most of the Primary and High School teachers had (i.e. 86%, 30 of 35 teachers). Whilst 265 of the high school students offered an explanation for biosecurity, only 23 of these were acceptable; with 18 (of 35 teachers) explanations also being acceptable.

Awareness of biosecurity amongst High Schools students and their teachers on beginning The Archibull Prize, 2015

  High School Students Primary Teachers High School Teachers Total teachers
Answer Options % Number % Number % Number % Number
Yes 38% 123 77% 10 91% 20 86% 30
No 62% 204 23% 3 9% 2 14% 5
answered question 327 13 22 35
skipped question 12 1 0 1
Attempted an explanation 81% 265 13 22 35
Acceptable explanation given 23 4 14 18

At the end of their projects the majority of high school students (94%, 197) reported having heard about biosecurity. All the students (100%, 207) chose the correct answer for the definition of biosecurity i.e. the protection of the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants. A majority of students (72%, 150) correctly identified biosecurity practices; and considered that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility (85%, 178). A further 191 students offered their understandings of what ‘biosecurity is a shared responsibility’ means. These results are a significant shift in awareness of biosecurity as a result of participation in The Archibull Prize.

 Whilst the primary school students were not involved in the biosecurity competition and were not asked the question in the program entry and exit survey it was obvious from their artworks and the blogs  they too had a phenomenal understanding of risks and their role in mitigating them as a result of participating in The Archibull Prize

Barnaby Joyce’s style and language and no-nonsense reaction to Johnny Depp’s wife bypassing the quarantine process when she ‘smuggled’  their dogs into Australia earlier in the year put Australia’s tough stance on biosecurity on the world stage and sent a very strong message globally

When Barnaby ordered his dog’s out and charged him with smuggling offences Johnny Depp continued to give biosecurity considerable oxygen keeping it front and centre by treating it as a joke even going so far as to say he had eaten his dogs. The court case will continue the good fight 

Well done Barnaby confident you were happy to take the “weird sweaty big-gutted man“  comment on the chin for team Australia and the “biosecurity is a shared responsibility” cause

Loving this tweet by Kerry Anderson with some reverse kudos for Johnny

Kerry Anderson

BTW Hurlstone Agricultural High School took out both best class entry and best student entry in The Archibull Prize 2015. Going forward Hurlstone is putting biosecurity on the curriculum and making it an assessment task ensuring ‘Biosecurity” is a foreign concept no longer

Below are the winning entries

Secondary School Best Student Entry HAHS

Best Class Entry

Secondary School Best Class Winning entry HAHS

Best Student Entry

Also blogged here